The Chabal Song festival of the Bouyei Ethnic Group-Part Two
The Jianchuan County Shibaoshan Mountain Song Festival celebrated by the Bai Ethnic Minority Group The Shibaoshan Mountain Songfest celebrated in Jianchuan County by the Bai Ethnic Minority Group is a unique and vivid occasion. Every year during three days between the end of July and the beginning of August according to the lunar calendar, thousands of young Bai people in Jianchuan, Yunlong, Lanping, Heqing and Lijiang County gather at Shizhong Temple, Baoxiang Temple, Haiyun Residence and Jinding Temple on Shibaoshan Mountain to sing their wonderful songs, antiphonal as well as other styles.
The Bai girls taking part in the festival dress up in beautiful clothes, singing long melodious harmonies with their golden voices as they walk to where the festivities will take place. The Bai boys attach a unique sanxian, decorated with a dragon head, to their chest, and playing lilting bright sanxian melodies, as they make their way. Taken together with the sound of Bai love songs mixing with the clear notes of the sanxian, it truly makes for a wonderful scene. The sweet, beautiful and pleasant lyrics commemorate a legendary young and beautiful female singer from 2,000 years ago. The festival gives young people an opportunity to make new friends find a soul mate or lover. At night, in the woods or near the gurgling spring, the young people play sanxian songs to communicate their emotions and feelings. These songs accompanied by the music of the sanxian is a typical courting ritual for the Bai people,